healthy |ˈhelθē|adjective ( healthier , healthiest )in good health: : feeling fit and healthy.• (of a part of the body) not diseased : healthy cells.• indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health : a healthy appetite | a healthy balanced diet.• (of a person's attitude) sensible and well balanced : a healthy contempt for authority.• figurative in a good condition• desirable; beneficial• A conscious choice; A life-long commitment.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal ~ June

The end of another month. Holy, where is time going?!

I will be taking a few months off from the exchange as I settle in to my new house but I will probably rejoin in August/September so that I can share some delicious fall foods.

This month I sent a box all the way to Melinda. Check out her blog for a recap of the foodie items I sent her way!

Lisa from Calgary sent me a box. It was awesome getting some yummy treats from someone who lives so close! Thanks a bunch Lisa.

I received:
  • Peanut Butter Pretzels - Ate the entire bag in like a day.
  • Trail Mix
  • An assortment of fruit bars - Shared these with Matthias! We both agreed that the Pomegranate Almond was awesome
  • Granola - This was probably my favorite item from the box. This. Tasted. Like. S'MORES. Holy crap! New favorite granola. Milk Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Marshmallow Root.
  • Praline Honey Peanuts and Yogurt Raisins - Another bag that was gone in like a day. I'm not sorry for it either ;)
  • An assortment of teas - I love fruity teas and have enjoyed making these and then drinking them iced on hot days.
  • Vegetable Thins - for the days when something sweet just wont cut it!
Thank you so much Lisa!! This box was amazing.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Love Affair with the 'Bucks; Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful for COFFEE.

Okay, okay. It's more of a love affair of specialty coffees. But a die hard love affair it is. I worked at Starbucks for 4 years. And you know what? I'd probably still be doing it if I wasn't a nurse. I really loved it. Sure it was mindless at times. But I loved talking with the customers and making them delicious beverages. I was the self proclaimed "Best Barista in Red Deer". I could make a caramel macchiato in my sleep. I had an uncanny ability to remember all the regular's orders. It's a gift. NBD.

I didn't even like Starbucks at first. You know what's funny? I got my licence in Grade 10 and thought it would be cool of me to come to school in the morning with a coffee. That was around Christmas time. I went in and immediately felt overwhelmed by the list of coffees. I never even drank coffee before that. What would I like? Peppermint Mocha sounded good. I hated it. H.A.T.E.D it. I drank it anyways. I went back the next day and ordered it again because I didn't know what else I wanted to try. I still didn't like it. I think I drank it for close to 2 weeks before I started even liking it.

It has been my favorite drink since then. Nothing compares to the sweet peppermint chocolate taste and the smooth whipped cream and chocolate curls atop it.

My orders have changed in the years since I have been drinking coffee. They are a lot more precise now. Specific. I like different drinks at different places. You see, I am not solely a Starbucks fan anymore - oh no - I have expanded to loving all specialty coffee places, another favorite being City Roast here in Red Deer.

Here is the base of my orders: (the other stuff changes depending on my location and the mood I am in)
  • I prefer soy milk
  • I like 1/2 coffee instead of espresso (as it uses less make = calories)
  • No whipped cream (once in a blue moon I get light whip as a treat, but that is probably only like 3 times a year)
  • 1/2 sweet (if this isn't sweet enough for me I add stevia, when at Starbucks I order my drinks with 1 pump (2 for a venti) or syrup as that is sweet enough for me)
Okay want to hear some of my crazy/favorite orders:
  • Favorite Hot Drink at Starbucks: Grande Soy Pike Place Coffee Misto with 1 pump mocha (or cinnamon dolce, or caramel drizzle)
  • Favorite Iced Drink: Venti Iced Coffee, No Classic, No Milk, with 2 pumps Sugar Free Hazelnut (and then I add some half and half)
  • Close second: Grande Iced Soy Latte with 1 pump Mocha
  • Favorite Tea Drink: Venti Iced Green (or passion) Tea with No Classic (I find with this one people always assume you want lemonade so I always say No Lemonade as well)
  • Favorite Drink from City Roast: Medium 1/2 Coffee Peanut Butter Mocha, 1/2 Sweet, Soy Milk, No Whip
  •  Close second: Medium 1/2 Coffee Downtowner with Soy milk, 1/2 sweet, No Whip
Yeah. I know. And I watch em' like a hawk when they make it because so many people screw it up.

I'm "one of those" customers now.

Here is a fun chart with some interesting ideas for drinks at Starbucks:

Try some of them out and let me know if you like them!

Whats your favorite Coffee House drink?
 

Monday, June 25, 2012

On Maintenance

So I have pretty well been in Maintenance for a full year now. Last summer I reached my "goal" of 128, then when I was injured I lost an additional 7ish pounds. I don't think this was meant to happen ~ I lost muscle mass, strength, endurance. Yes I was tinier. Yes I fit size 2 pants. But so what? I was really cold, even through summer I couldn't wear a T-shirt. I was also scared. So So So Scared that I would gain all the weight back. Of course I would be scared. I hadn't intended on losing additional weight, I had no idea where the changes came from that would make me drastically drop it off in less than a month. I attribute it to an increase of cardio ~ some days up to 2 hours, and a lack of strength training. It was a plan that was bound to fail. Who can keep up that kind of activity and live on 1300 calories a day? Sure I could if I REALLY wanted to. But that meant saying no to all special occasions, meticulously calculating everything, every day, all day, and being weary of eating out. It was not pleasant, and I over indulged at times (ex. on the Weekends when I went camping) because I was in a place that I subconsciously knew I couldn't stay at.

As school started and I returned to a more normal schedule the weight came back on. A little bit here, a little bit there. I was frantic about it. I was devastated. I reviewed what had changed since the summer and wondered how I could get back there.

Christmas came and went. My preceptorship came and went. I gained a little bit more (topping out at 133lb). I had to buy new pants *gasp* size 4's. Some of the shirts that fit me better last summer are a wee to tight for comfort now, although I surely don't look "fat" in them, I just like my clothes a little looser fitting. I began a strength training program (more on that later) and continued with a decent amount of cardio.

Wisdom teeth surgery meant a soft foods/liquid diet dropping me down to 128lb. The surgery knocked me out for a month ~ more endurance lost, but I finally felt normal again. I continued strength training, I felt stronger than ever, I could actually do real pushups. I ran another 1/2 marathon and a 10km run, killing past PR's.



I slowly realized that I could trust myself to make healthy foods, and that if I stayed conscious and present in my choices I could turn down some treats and indulgently savor others. I realized that I don't need a scale to keep close measurement of my progress, and the daily pull to step on it is no longer there. I realized that I could maintain what I am doing now, probably for the rest of my life, and that my body and mind feel truly healthy.


It's not perfect, but I doubt it ever will be. I overdo it once in a while, but I generally savor these times and they are becoming farther and farther apart. I still eat dessert/something sweet. I honestly don't think that will ever change. I still eat yogurt and cheese. I would really love to be a vegan but yogurt is just too delicious. I even taste a bite of the fish Matthias makes some times, and then quickly realize I really don't like the taste of fish, hence why I gave it up in the first place.

I look back to my word of the year, Transition, and I feel it all around me. I am a nurse. I have graduated from university. I am working full time. I am moving to my own home. I am in a happy relationship that will progress to marriage over the next year and a bit. I am working on being a better runner. Things didn't work out with my sister and I am learning to accept that. I feel more comfortable with the transitions that are happening more than ever.


I'm happy. I'm healthy. That is what matters.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Recipe: Trail Mix Muffin Tops

Its been a while since I baked, and after watching Baking with Anna Olsen, I had the itch to bake some cookies. I didn't have any chocolate chips in hand, but that is okay because I had this new to me find: Chocolate Covered Sunflower seeds.

Based loosely on this recipe, these quasi-cookies are thick, dense and chewy in a muffin top way.

Enjoy with a glass of milk or coffee, or take some on a summer hike!


Yeild: 15 Medium Tops

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp pudding mix (I used chocolate fudge flavored, but vanilla or pistachio would work too)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate covered sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit mix (I used a mix of blueberries and cranberries, any dried fruit would work cut into small pieces)
  • 15 almonds (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until well incorporated. Reduce speed and beat in egg, and then pudding mix. Mix in flour mixture just until incorporated; fold in desired "trail mix" toppings ~ be creative!
  4. Form balls (about 1.5tbsp in size), no more than 12 cookies per baking tray and parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Muffin tops will puff up quite large. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on tray before transferring to cooling rack.
  6. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Furbabies

I love my pets. Like a lot.
Oliver
We often joke that Oliver is the black sheep of the family and that no one like him. He is demanding when he wants to cuddle, mean when he wants to be left alone, and terrified of our dogs. He always runs away from them and the dogs think this is him wanting to play - so they chase him. We also believe that he is transgendered/homosexual. Not that it is a bad thing or anything, but his meow is so girly. He also just acts like a girl - being temperamental and crass. Regardless of these traits, he makes me happy. He is (almost) always down for a good cuddle and his mannerisms are original.
Olivia
The queen of the house. Olivia, our first child, is spoiled. We let her do whatever she wants. She greets us outside whenever we come home with a loud meow and a flop on to her back so we can pet her belly. She eats her feelings and can almost always be found on the counter at her dish. She is noisy, always, and I mean ALWAYS purring. When we had her fixed the vet techs said that she purred through the needle, and continued to purr until she fell asleep. She has her mama's attitude and glares when she doesn't get what she wants.
Tucker and Rosie
Tucker, our first dog child, turned 3 on the 13th. We celebrated by buying him a new Harley Davidson collar and a can of wet dog food - Salmon flavored - that he and Rosie went crazy over. He gives me love nibbles on my chin, rubs his hips on low branches at the dog park making a gruff growl-like sound, and wiggles his bum so hard when we come home. He howls when Rosie gets him riled up, and although he has a deep scary bark, his bum is shaking excitedly when anyone comes to the door. He makes me smile, laugh, and brings me so so so much happiness. He is well-mannered and polite, and is an old man at heart going to bed every night at 8pm - he is always passed out on our bed at this time.

Rosie, the newest member of our family, is rambunctious, sweet, and well-mannered. She loves to bug her big brother by biting his legs and herding him around the yard. At the dog park she runs and literally leaps in to all the ponds so that she can go for a swim. She loves being wet and doesn't shake off when she gets out of the water dripping EVERYWHERE. She loves bones, stuff toys, and being a thief, taking stuff outside. She listens really well, and although she still has a border collie puppy brain, she will be close to the perfect dog when she settles down a little bit.

Our pets bring us so much happiness.

Do you have a special pet or memories of a pet?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whate I Ate Wedneday [13]

Good eats on this what I ate Wednesday my friends :)
Breakfast; Yogurt bowl with Strawbs, Cherries, Banana and Granola
Lunch; Iced S'mores Latte from City Roast made with Almond Milk, a Small 'Special' Salad which included Spinach, walnuts, Gruyere cheese, and Grapes, it was SO good, and also left overs from last night - Baked Macaroni with a Walnut Gravy from Let them Eat Vegan
Snack; A square of Lindt 75% Dark Chocolate
Supper; Lentils and Steamed Veggies with Balsamic Dressing on top, Peach on the side
Snack; Kind Bar

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I. Hate. Rides.

I have never really been a "rides" person. When I was 16, Matthias and I went to West Edmonton Mall. I had never been on a roller coaster before, so Matthias made me try it out. We waited in line for 30min, and right before we got on they shut the ride down to do their hourly service - easing my nerves a little bit. Well we got on the ride, and started out. Up, up up, until we were near the top of the building, you couldn't see past a certain part of the track, because that's where it fell off and descended. As we neared this area, my nerves kept creeping up, up up. You know how they take the picture of you? It would have been a good one to buy - Matthias is looking like he is having the time of his life, I, on the other hand, have my eyes glued shut and this look of terror glued to my face. I cried when I got off the ride. I was so terrified. The feeling was NOT fun to me.

During that summer we went to Calaway Park just outside of Calgary. We both felt sick after the spinning strawberries, agreeing that spinny rides weren't for us. Matthias enjoyed the roller coaster there while I watched. I had a panic attack on the Log/Water ride, and tried climbing out of the moving ride at the top of the hill. Not my finest moment.

Fast forward 5 years. There is a neat little carnival in the Parkland Mall Parking lot. A great idea for a date night, right? I thought so! We got the carnival on Friday and bought some tickets. Which rides would we get on? We decided the Ferris wheel would be a good start. That was until, 5 minutes after waiting to get on, 2 skimpy dressed girls lined up behind us. The carnie stopped the ride and let them get on ahead of us. Seriously? We decided not to get on the ride because that guy was clearly a douche. The zipper looked innocent enough - people were getting on/off when we started lining up so we didn't see how fast it actually went.
Two girls got off - 1 had thrown up on the ride. Gross. We stayed in line <--- that is where we made our mistake.

The carnie put us on the ride (not in the barf basket lol) and strapped us in. The basket rocked back and forth, and I instantly regretted getting on. The hyperventilating started. Oh no. What had I done? The ride started. As did the screaming and yelling.

Here are some of the things I yelled out during our seemingly never ending ride:

- Oh god. I am going to die.
- This is it. This is the end of my life.
- Why is his music so loud? It's to block out my f*c&ing screams.
- Ahhhhhhhhh.
- Why did I do this?
..... We paused for a brief moment at the top. My entire body was vibrating - my legs, hands, butt, evertyhing - I was crying. Matthias said: It's okay, we are almost done, hold my hand. I yelled back "I can't let go, I am holding the cage door closed." Of course, the cage door was closed from the outside but I literally was pulling the door towards me. .......
- Oh no, We are going again.
- Noooooooooo.
- I don't want to die. I just want to nurse.
- I didn't even get to get married.
- Whhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy?
- I want off. I want off so bad.
- Nooooooo.
- Ahhhhhhhhhh.
- And finally: I leaned forward as we were going around the bottom and yelled at the top of my lungs at the Carnie: I WANT OFF. NOOOOOOWWWWWW. - Thank god he heard me this time and obliged.

Matthias said he wished he could have taped me. Hands down, we would have won America's Funniest Home Videos. He said My eyes were glued shut, my sunglasses would lift off my head as we went down, and my legs/arms/entire body were flexed.

It was one of the worst moments of my life. I was so terrified. I hated the spinning feeling. The never ending round and round. I felt my butt lift off the seat when we would spin, and there were times we stayed upside down for what seemed like minutes at a time.

I got off the ride and burst in to tears again. My whole body shook. I kept bursting in to tears every 5-10min for an hour after. I was so so so scared.

Matthias said the people -ahem kids- in the cart across from us looked terrified because of my never ending screaming. I literally screamed even when we were stopped.

Matthias and I both felt nauseous when we got off the ride. I didn't want to do any other rides. I wanted to leave. We gave our left over tickets to a group of kids (we hadn't even used half of them - we only did the one ride), and went and rented some movies. To settle our tummies I convinced Matthias that Menchies was the only way. Yum. At least one good thing came out of the terror.

So. Matthias said that in 5 years when I wanted to try out a ride, he wouldn't let me. Thank goodness he is so thoughtful.

I am not a rides person. Do you like rides?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hustle For Hunger Recap - My first run in the Rain!

I am not a fan of running in the elements - wind, snow, rain. I like it to be sunny, warm, and mild. This morning when I woke up to cloudy, dreary skies, I was praying that the rain would stay at bay.

Please note the rain. Yuck.
I ate my usual running breakfast - coffee, toast, banana, peanut butter. I felt okay. Still a little sore from Yoga the other night, but nothing too bad. I got dressed and threw on a long sleeve shirt because it looked gross outside. I left my raincoat at home and headed out.

Sure enough, as I merged on to the highway, the rain started. Grrreeeeaaaattt. So I called Matthias to meet me at Heritage Ranch (the start/finish line) with my coat. Thank goodness he was nice enough to come :)

So, the rain continued, but at least I was dry. I headed to the washrooms and then tried to stay dry under the trees until the start.

I had a goal in mind: Run a sub-hour 10km. I honestly didn't think I could do it in the weather.

My GPS watch takes about 3 minutes to link with satellites. Good thing I turned it on in time. NOT. So I was without GPS watch.

Grrreeeeaaaatttt. I started running and decided I would just push as hard as I could so I could just get it done. I had payed for the registration. I might as well finish it.

Pre-Run Glare
I was surprised that they had water stations every 2.5km. Nice Surprise. :) I finally took off my hood cause it was pulling at my sunglasses in a funny way, and just kept running. Brief walking breaks at each water station, and a minute long walk at the 7th km. I ran the rest, and tried to just keep up with the person in front of me. I kept turning around and no one was behind me. There was no way I was last? I felt like I was keeping a decent pace. Oh well.

Pushed forward and then saw the time on the clock: 56min. You had to run through the finish line twice to make it a full 10km so I ran through at 56min, ran around the parking lot picking up my speed and pushing hard. I rounded the corner again and saw the time: 58min! YES. I started running even faster - finished in 58:42. The time made the shitty weather worthwhile :)

Of course - it is worth noting that the weather has since turned around and it is sunny outside right now. Thanks a bunch Mama Nature.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday - An update on Life

 “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”   Mahatma Gandhi
Hi Friends, Welcome to the first Thankful Thursday in a while. Where has the time gone? I thought it might be a good idea to do an update about how life is, what I am up to, and what the near future holds!

Matthias
Matthias is good as per usual. Very supportive of me working only evenings, working hard himself, and spending as much time with me as he can. We cook together, go on walks together, go to movies together and spend hours talking. I am so grateful to have my best friend by my side and I couldn't have asked for a better partner.

Work
Well I think it is no surprise that I LOVE MY JOB. Oh my goodness!! The people I work with are so supportive and welcoming. They answer all of my questions and help me when I am unsure of anything. The unit is really really great. I love working with the patients and can see myself working there for a long time. I feel so blessed. I find out my results from the CRNE in 3-5 more weeks. I will hopefully be getting good results so I will post them when I know!

House
Move in on June 29th!!! AHHHH!!! Everything is all complete! Lawyers done, Taxes are done, Utilities are done! We are having a house warming party/birthday party on July 8th. I will post pictures when we are all moved in!

Car
I am in a rental car right now. Will probably be in one for the next 5-6weeks while they are fixing my car.

Exercise
Running a 10km race on Sunday - Hustle for Hunger. Also running a half marathon in July in Lacombe. I am working on my strength and am having fun pushing myself and feeling muscles that I have never felt before! More on that later ;) I feel like I have found a nice balance between types of exercise such as Running, Spin, Yoga, Walking, Strength, and other ways to stay active.

Food 
I am feeling more and more comfortable with listening to my body. I weighed in at 129lb on Sunday. I feel like I have found a weight/size/level of activity that I can keep up to maintain my weight. I track my food less but feel more mindful about the choices that I am making. I don't feel the same anxiety surrounding food that I did last summer. It has been a year now that I have felt "at goal" and I truly believe this is the person I am supposed to be. I am enjoying making healthy summer salads, perusing the farmers market, and indulging in moderation. I feel like food has less of a pull on my life now. I trust myself without depriving myself.

Wisdom Teeth
Surgery from hell. First I almost got an infection from food stuck in the holes. Then I had extreme constipation. Then I was in really bad pain. After that I got an infection in the opposite side in my cheek and was placed on antibiotics. Yeah. And that's not all. Last week, a piece of residual bone migrated out of my cheek. It felt like something "broke off" in my mouth. There was blood. My dad and Matthias were both like WHAT IS THAT?! I then pulled it out with tweezers. It was about 2cm long. So gross.

So I think that's it? Off to Hot Yoga! ;)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIAW Hello There


Busy is an understatement right now. Holy smokes so much is going on right now. I apologize for my lack of blogging, and I hope it will work out soon so that I can resume a regular posting schedule.

Things on the healthy living front have been going good. I am trying to watch my sweets in take, and have been allowing myself one "treat" a week. Today was that day! I had 1/4 of my S'mores Cutie Pie. Yum! The other 3/4 are for Matthias and his friend while I am at work.
Here are today's eats:
Breakfast: PC Whole Grain Thin Bun with Banana, 1/2 with Adams PB, 1/2 with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB
Snack: A new to me Raw bar that I got at Nutters
Lunch: (Not pictured) 1/2 of a homemade pizza with tzatziki, cucumber, spinach and mushroom, light cheese, Carrots, Strawberries and Raspberries dipped in to local hummus. I LOVE THE PB CHOCOLATE FLAVOR. Love the small ingredient list as well!
Snack: 1/4 S'mores Pie, Iced Coffee (Not pictured)
Supper: Brussel Sprouts, Other 1/2 of my Pizza
Snack: White Chocolate Toblerone, Nectarine, Cup of Diet Coke (had a rare craving yesterday so I bought a bottle and drank half at work yesterday and half at work today).

Okay. So I am going to go out on a limb here and say that in the next 2 days I am going to do an update-on-life post. Those are my days off (Cause ya know, I have those now!), so I am hoping for then!

Ta-ta.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Extend Nutrition

Extend Nutrition contacted me recently to collaborate on a guest post. I have received requests like these in the past and have been skeptical to accept as a lot of them are scams. After searching the Extend Website I was definitely intrigued. As someone who has suffered from Hypoglycemic Attacks in the past, keeping my blood sugar regular is very important to me.
Extend Nutrition offered to send me some samples of their products and I can't wait to tell you all about them! They are actually very tasty, high in protein and fiber, and help to keep blood sugar stable.

Some History:
"Since the Extend Nutrition formula was originally invented in a home kitchen, our line of products has come a very long way. While working to find a solution to prevent hypoglycemia in some of her patients with diabetes, Dr. Francine Kaufman, M.D. came up with a unique formula that she believed could help control blood sugar for longer than anything available on the market.

Her formula was put to the test in six different clinical studies and has indeed proven to help control blood sugar for up to 9 hours, a feat unparalleled by other competing products. Extend Nutrition Bars, Shakes, Crisps and Drizzles are some of the most progressive, genuinely beneficial snacks on the market and are now available in countries around the world.

Extend Nutrition was founded in 2000 as Extend Snacks and has grown into a popular line of unique snack products that all feature an industry-leading blood sugar control advantage. Now found in Target, Walgreens and many other retail outlets, Extend Nutrition snacks are affordable, accessible, and effective solutions for diabetes management and responsible snacking." (source)
Extend Nutrition is targeted to help those who are managing their diabetes, watching their weight, health nuts, people interested in fitness, and those who are always on the go.

Why Should You Try It?
"Made with a unique, low-glycemic formula, Extend Nutrition products are the only snacks clinically proven to help control blood sugar for up to 9 hours; much longer than any other snack on the market. Developed originally for people with diabetes, our products are the superior choice for healthy snacking and have benefits for everybody." (source)

Typical snacks cause a blood sugar spike
Extend Nutrition products help to control blood sugar for up to 9 hours



Typical snacks metabolize over a 1-2 hour period, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. The body responds by releasing insulin to drive blood sugar back down.

When your blood sugar drops and you feel cravings, an unhealthy snack can restart the 'spike crash crave' cycle by triggering the insulin response..

The low-glycemic carbs in Extend Nutrition metabolize gradually so stable energy reaches your body for up to 6 hours during the day and 9 hours at night.

No blood sugar spikes or insulin response; you'll avoid the old 'spike-crash-crave' cycle and regain control of your blood sugar.

Extend Nutrition makes Bars, Crisps, Drizzles, and Shakes! They were kind enough to send me this box of goodies:

I was so excited!! I immediately ripped open the Peanut Butter Chocolate Delight Bar. I split it with my 13 year old sister in the car. I didn't tell her anything before I let her try it. The verdict? "It tastes like Reece's!" she exclaimed. I agreed. As a Peanut Butter/Chocolate enthusiast, this surpassed my expectations. I have tried many-a-protein bar, and this easily comes out as one of my favorites. At only 110 calories and 11g of protein, it didn't have that gritty-protein-y flavor many comparable bars have. I would definitely eat this again.

When I got home I looked a little closer. The company also sent me a pamphlet with great ideas on how to use the snacks in other ways (eg. Making slushies, smoothies, using the bars crumbled on oatmeal, Um, Hello Yummy Breakfast, making puddings, ext...). All the suggestions are Diabetic Friendly and Low Carb. They also had a conversion chart to show how the products translated to other programs such as Weight Watchers.

After supper I was wanting a little something sweet so I tried out the Extend Caramel Drizzles. They are very similar to the Quaker Mini Drizzles, however their nutritional profile boasts 6g of Fiber and 6g of Protein and only 130 calories. They were larger than Quaker Mini's and had a generous amount of Caramel on each. They weren't spongy at all. Nice and crispy! Another product I would definitely eat again. The chocolate ones were equally as delicious.

I must say... I am not a fan of "shakes". Maybe it is something about the texture? I dunno. Matthias said it tasted okay, but we both agreed that these are MUCH better in smoothie form with some milk and frozen fruit. Okay. So I lied. These powders make the BEST smoothies I have ever had. Oh my god. I didn't like them at all shaken with water or milk, but blended with a frozen banana, blueberries, and some almond milk was divine. With 15g of protein and 100 calories these kept me full for a while.

The crisps were probably my least favorite thing, but that is because sweet > savory. I liked the cinnamon flavor more than the white cheddar.

As a member of the health care profession, I have seen first hand the effects of uncontrolled diet, inactivity, Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), obesity, and heart disease. I am not a registered dietician, but I do recommend these products as an excellent substitution.

Needless to say - I am not on the hunt for Extend Products in Canada. Anyone know where I might be able to pick these up?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Busy

I feel very very busy this last week/weeks to come. In the past week I have:

  • Finished Orientation to my job (which I love)
  • Ran 15+km & Worked out consistently
  • Tried to catch up on all my PVR'ed Mad Men
  • Studied my butt off
  • Wrote the CRNE
  • Participated in 2 Dance Recitals
  • Got into a car accident and wrecked my car :( - I am okay, but I am vehicle-less right now. Matthias also thinks the car won't be fixable because the entire back end was smashed in. I wasn't even able to open my door, I had to crawl out the passenger side. I am not injured in any way though, no whip lash or anything, thank goodness. The other driver is not injured as well.
  • Planted this gem:

  • Planted a mix of: Spinach, Carrots, Peppers, Lettuce, Potatoes, Radishes, Herbs, Beets, Squash, and other random things
    I am really hopeful it will work out! I don't know if EVERYTHING will grow, but this is a test run for building a garden in our future back yard. This is a 5x5m plot in the Blackfald's Community Garden. 25$ and you can plant anything you want! Fingers crossed my friends.

    Alright, that's it for me. I am sorry for being totes MIA.  Hopefully everything will calm down soon. I start in my line on Monday, so at least I will be making consistent $$$.

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    Weekend Pictures

    Somebody graduated this weekend...